Sunday, September 17, 2006
The boys were in bed, each received a kiss on the head, and each had a prayer from dad spoken over them. I asked them about their first week back at school (both thought it great), and we talked about whatever was on their minds.
Jeremiah asked me if I had ever been an astronaut (he had just watched Apollo 13). Cute. The kid thinks I have done just about everything! Isaac asked if we could pray for Grampa Denny.
Grampa Denny, as mentioned in the previous post, is a little ornery sometimes, and is now headed south toward his home near Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.
Brenda and I are a little concerned about his safety, health, and salvation. But we had the important conversations with him, and wished him well. The ornery and frightened little guy is now headed south.
After crawling into bed and chatting for a while, we prayed for him.
I love those chats at bedtime.
We snuggle up close, and tenderly talk to each other. We review our day, we share our concerns, we tell each other how we feel. We pray and fall asleep.
It wasn’t always that way. There has been some rough times this past quarter century. Yup, this November we will have been married 25 years! Hard to believe.
Last night we talked a little about this past summer. It was a busy one. We were juggling counseling sessions for Jeremiah (strongly requested by the county district attorney), Special Olympics events, went on a road trip to Wyoming, replaced floors, painted rooms, fixed a little of this, a lot of that, dealt with my mother in law (who used to live with us but now lives in her own apartment, with help from Brenda), and dealt with my father in law (who lives with wife #4 [who was also wife #2] in Mexico). (Wow! FOUR parenthetical statements in one sentence! Do I expect a lot from my readers or what?!!!)
We talked about the difficult times this past 25 years and how those challenges have helped us grow.
We talked about how things have gotten so sweet between us. . . how we are gentle with each other. We spoke about how our home is suddenly free from any big disasters. No deaths in the family. No family members staying with us. No overwhelming issues with our kids. No huge health problems. I have just had the best first week of school I can remember. (It was just FANTASTIC at work this week.)
We wondered if it would last. Such stability in our lives is not the way we have spent most of the last two and a half decades.
When I view the dusty crushed debris of our church I feel twinges of emotions that are difficult to articulate. I drive past it each day on my way home.
There are small projects I still need to complete from the big projects of the summer (Honey, if you are reading this, I promise I’ll get to the door trim soon, and that stuff in the back yard is nearly picked up!).
So how is it that we are getting along so well? Many couples divorce. Many folks have marriages filled with loneliness. What are we doing differently?
I think it is the way we have learned to handle crisis that has helped our marriage. When we were young we seemed to let the small things turn into big things.
Then the big things came.
We didn’t always handle those well either. Our marriage went through some really tough patches. We have learned to try to lift each other up when the other needs it. I say “try” because it didn’t always work out that way.
But now we are eager for that time of night when the phone has stopped ringing, the kids are asleep, and we can retreat to the refuge of our bed.
This afternoon we had our annual church picnic. It was good to get together with our church family. There were ten people baptized in the local river!
Our parents, Brenda and mine, seemed to move fairly frequently, and grew up always changing schools. Both of us had school years where we were in three different schools.
Not our kids. Since their adoption we have not moved at all.
We’ve been married for almost 25 years. We have lived in the same house for over 15. Our children have come out of terrible conditions to have a stable home in a community which includes friends at school and a close spiritual family at church.
Why is life so good? To tell the truth it spooks us a little. We have the feeling of waiting for “the other shoe to drop.” But I think there are some things I can point to as why life is good.
Because I love my wife. (One of these days I want to write a post about that... explain my take on that vastly misunderstood passage from Paul regarding wives and husbands).
Because I have grown through difficult times and rely on Him.
And maybe because He feels we just need a little break before we do anymore growing.